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North Myrtle Beach Possom Trot redevelopment plans change, but residents still fuming

Possum Trot Golf Course in North Myrtle Beach is expected to close on Sept. 30 when The Glens Group’s lease to operate the property as a golf course expires.
Possum Trot Golf Course in North Myrtle Beach is expected to close on Sept. 30 when The Glens Group’s lease to operate the property as a golf course expires. jbell@thesunnews.com

Developers hoping to change Possum Trot Golf Club and annex it into North Myrtle Beach have reduced their planned units, but still have a ways to go before winning over residents and planning staff.

The city’s planning commission held its second workshop on the proposal Thursday, and Jim Wood, North Myrtle Beach’s planning director, prefaced the discussion by stating he anticipated more workshops will be needed.

Commissioners and staff expressed concerns about the proposed density of the original Planned Development District, which would have included 452 single-family detached homes, 264 attached multifamily units, and eight acres of an assisted living facility, with associate medical services, that would include 60 to 80 beds.

Walter Warren, the project’s engineer, revealed the revised plan that would reduce the total units to 512 in addition to the assisted living facility.

The new proposal would include three access points — one off Possum Trot Road and two off Tom E. Chestnut Road — and have about 54 acres of open space or pond area, which Warren emphasized is a larger percentage of the total land, 176 acres, than typical for new developments.

Developers want North Myrtle Beach to annex and rezone Possum Trot Golf Club into a mixed-use project called Tidal Walk.

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Possum Trot Golf Course in North Myrtle Beach. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

As before, numerous residents showed up to the workshop and pointed to potential issues with safety, traffic and sewer drainage. Additional traffic concerns on 6th Avenue and Anne Street were mentioned numerous times.

One resident, Claudia Blaize, said she didn’t trust the developers and doesn’t want the project at all. She suggested that if city council doesn’t act to keep the land as a golf course, she would try to reach out to President Donald Trump for help, as she put on a red Make America Great Again hat.

“I heard he knows a thing or two about golf courses,” Blaze said.

After the workshop, Wood said the developer’s reduction in density is helpful to their cause, but the question that remains unanswered is what level of reduction will be enough to satisfy residents’ concerns.

He reiterated that he foresees more workshops conducted surrounding this proposal.

“This is not anywhere near ready for a vote,” Wood said.

North Myrtle Beach planning commission has twice deferred voting on the annexation and will need to do so again during their next meeting Aug. 20 to hold another workshop.

Developers are hoping to start work on the project by spring 2020, and Warren said he anticipated construction would last about five years.

The 167-acre golf course, located in unincorporated Horry County, is set to close Sept. 30 after the property owner declined to extend the long-term lease of the club’s operators, Glens Group.

The course, designed by Russell Breeden, first opened in 1968.

Correction: This story has been corrected after an earlier version misspelled a resident’s last name.

Brad Redding teaches you how to improve your golf swing. Redding is a professional in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area.

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Investigative project reporter David Weissman joined The Sun News after three years working at The York Dispatch in Pennsylvania, where he earned awards for his investigative reports on topics including health, business, politics and education.
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